Friday, October 20, 2017

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Fertility Tips for Child Birth

Ancestral worship is the underlying principle of Chinese ethics. Therefore, the birth of a child, in particular a son that will carry on the family’s name, is regarded as an extremely fortunate event. As such, there are many customs and rituals to encourage child birth especially among couples who are yet childless, unable to conceive or who have no luck with male infants.

When a daughter who remained childless after the fifteenth day of the previous year of marriage, relatives from her family would send her a series of auspicious items on an auspicious day selected between the fifth and fourteenth day of the month. These items include the following:

A paper lantern, figuring or painting of the Goddess of Mercy or Kuan Yin, depicted as carrying a child in her hands, frequently with an inscription of 送子观音, meaning ‘Child Bestowing KuanYin’;

A Hundred Children
Painting of A Hundred Children

Painting of a hundred children or 百子图 – You will only find 99 children in the painting, this originated from Wen Wang, the Duke of Zhou in 1231-1135 BC who had 99 children plus one he adopted. The painting of a hundred children symbolizes many descendants that lasts for generations;

Paintings or figurines of unicorns - Ancient texts had mentioned that each time the unicorn was sighted, an illustrious offspring will be born. It was mentioned in ancient texts that Emperor Yao, Emperor Shun and Confucius were born after the unicorn appeared. Some said the mother of Confucius became pregnant when she followed the footsteps left by the unicorn in a temple;

Paintings or figurines of elephants - Elephant brings infant luck to those who are wishing for babies in their lives. Buddha's mother dreamt about a white elephant and got pregnant after that;

Oyster in an earthen vessel – The oysters have the same sound as ‘younger brother’, while the earthen vessel means ‘to come’;

Rice cakes or – means elder brother, , which implies having more than one son;

Oranges or – means , quickly or with urgency;

Garlic – sounds like grandchildren;

A lantern is presented bearing an inscription 孩儿坐盆, a reference to the typical wooden tub used to receive children during child birth in ancient China;

A lantern shaped like an orange called 橘灯 can offered;

Pomegranate – Many seeds, which implies many sons;

Sugarcane – The long and many segments signifies many elder brothers;

Bean Curb – Which means ‘sure to have’ in local parlance;

If these auspicious efforts were successful, on the hundredth day after the birth of a male infant, a tray containing essential everyday items were placed in front of him. These include clothing, toiletries, combs, writing brush etc. Whatever item the child grasp is an indication of his fortune later in life.


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